Recent Posts:

Why THESE companies are IPOing

Rob Day: August 13, 2010, 11:07 AM

As an active investor in the cleantech market I'm definitely hoping we can start to see some successful exits.  I, like others, am pining for a few successful IPOs with stellar returns that can be good beacons of hope for the rest of the sector's bets.  When there were practically zero venture-backed IPOs across all sectors, you knew there was a backlog of cleantech companies that were lining up to IPO and couldn't.  And of course now that the IPO window is re-opened slightly, it's not surprising to see venture-backed cleantech startups jumping in and filing to go public.

But why are THESE the ones that are doing so?  A123, Codexis, Tesla, Amyris, PetroAlgae, Gevo... Several with no...

The other big climate policy battle

Rob Day: August 8, 2010, 9:45 PM

Now that Harry "Lucy" Reid has pulled the climate legislation football away at the last minute, cleantech investors can be forgiven for taking a big sigh and forgetting about climate policy for a while.  After all, until a couple of years ago most cleantech VCs were adamant about purposefully ignoring policy efforts and effects, because of the randomness factor it would imply for their investments.  Of course, with a more supportive administration and supposedly looming national climate legislation many VCs have ended up spending much more time on policy work and visits to Washington, DC than they'd expected to.  And so it wouldn't be surprising to see these investors take the...

Energy efficiency: Where angels will shine

Rob Day: August 1, 2010, 7:49 PM

As you pull into the parking lot, the grit of crumbling asphalt crunches under your tires. No shade trees or white curbs in this parking lot, just lines on tarmac, narrow spaces, and an unfiltered summer sun.  You get out of your car and look up at the tall, nondescript brick building, and head toward the effectively unmarked entrance, a metal door that makes you remember public schools from years ago.  A train rattles by on an elevated track directly behind the building, picking up speed as it carries its daily delivery of bankers and lawyers downtown. A few other people amble into and out of the building, but it's far from busy.  This isn't one of the newer generation buildings with...

What climate bill?

Rob Day: July 22, 2010, 3:22 PM

It's 2nd down and about 10 yards to go, and Harry Reid decided he might as well punt.

With today's news that any upcoming energy bill won't include climate legislation or even a renewable portfolio standard, cleantech entrepreneurs and investors are left scratching their heads.  Yet more uncertainty.

I continue to see pitches from companies with smart, low-cost approaches to carbon emissions, but lacking more of a certain price and market for carbon credits, they're having a really hard time raising capital.  Ditto for anything related to carbon capture and storage.  And in many other areas of cleantech, the lack of certainty around energy and carbon pricing is a killer.  I'm even...

What’s EnerNOC up to?

Rob Day: July 16, 2010, 10:19 PM

That's, increasingly, the question all smart grid companies need to be asking themselves.

I had the opportunity to visit with Tim Healy at EnerNOC last week, toured their demo center, had a fun lunch talking shop.  As longtime readers might be able to guess, I am pretty keen on the energy efficiency industry as an investment area.  What they might not know is that I missed out on investing in EnerNOC years ago as part of a Series B round -- the company had approached my firm for an investment, but then Foundation Capital invested quickly and at a price we wouldn't match, so we missed out.  And it ended up being a very good investment for Foundation... So it's always been one of "the...

VC fund fundraising remains depressed

Rob Day: July 8, 2010, 11:09 AM

Just a really quick follow-up on my last post regarding cleantech venture investments... Entrepreneurs need to realize that this is unlikely to change very soon.  Why? Because VCs themselves are still finding it hard to raise new funds.

Dow Jones put out their tally of VC fundraising in 1H10 today, and the headline was "US Venture Fund-Raising Up 13%".  I've seen people talking about how that's great news.  Not really.  Simply look at the very first data slide in their presentation and you'll see what I mean.  The totals are up compared to 1H09 because 1H09 was awful.  The dollar amounts remain way down from previous years, however.  

I said a while back that my guess was 2010...